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The 2023 Holden Beach Summer Concert Series is going to be jam packed with great acts all season long!

Grab a beach chair and join us each Sunday evening from 6:30PM until 8:00PM for live entertainment at the Pavilion under the Holden Beach Bridge. These free concerts are fun for the entire family!


May 28th– The Extraordinaires

June 4th– Continental Divide

June 11th–The Main Event Band

June 18th– Cat 5

June 25th– The Embers

July 2nd– The Tams

July 9th– Chairman of the Board

July 16th– The Entertainers featuring Craig Woolard

July 23rd– Band of Oz

July 30th– Blackwater Band

August 6th– Jim Quick and Coastline

August 13th– Too Much Sylvia

August 20th– Gary Lowder & Smokin Hot

August 27th– Carolina Kool

September 3rd– North Tower

Who doesn’t love opening a new book while soaking up the sunshine and listening to the ocean waves during your beach vacation? Maybe you can’t make it to the beach and want to get lost in a book that will allow you to imagine you’re at the beach. Here are a few of the many books that are set in and around Holden Beach that will bring you back to the beach no matter where you are!

The Old Man and The Boy by Robert Ruark

This classic tells of the relationship between a man and his grandson as they fish and hunt the lakes and woods around Southport. All the while the Old Man acts as teacher and guide, passing on his wisdom and life experiences to the boy.

Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks

Centered around the Kindred Spirit mailbox in Sunset Beach, Every Breath tells the story of Hope Anderson who is visiting Sunset Beach to ready her family’s beach cottage for sale and Tru Wells who comes to Sunset Beach after receiving a letter from a man claiming to be his father.

The Sunset Beach Series by Marybeth Whalen

A series of 4 books, all set in Sunset Beach. These are all stand alone books and can be read together or separately.

An Ever-Fixed Mark by O.C. Strunk

A sequel to Three-Two Count (set in Maine), this book follows Professor Matthew Glass as he moves to Calabash and attempts to establish a business. He is soon called upon by the daughter of a man who believes her father’s death was not an accident to investigate the death.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Spark

This book turned movie is set in Southport and tells the story of Katie, a girl on the run, and Alex, a widowed store owner with two children. A romance and mystery all in one.

Beyond Borders by Don Glander

Retired couple Matt and Lindy are enjoying retired life in coastal Brunswick County when Matt discovers a body in the marsh, threatening their calm and peaceful lives. There is a second book in this series as well, also set in Brunswick County, Beyond Beaches.

Next time you’re in the mood for a beach read, one of these books is sure to satisfy your longing for the North Carolina coast.

February 9th is National Pizza Day and we can’t think of a better way to celebrate than to grab a pie and head to Holden Beach! We have some great pizza places in Holden Beach and no matter what style pizza is your favorite, you’re sure to find a slice that you’ll love. Here are a few of our favorite places!

Patronies Pizza

Located at 2625 Holden Beach Road, Patronies is a Holden Beach staple. Since 2007, they’ve been serving up pizzas, calzones, heroes, pastas, salads and wings. Fun fact: Patronies was the setting for a locally shot independent movie, 8 Slices! We love the NY White Pie, but if you’re feeling adventurous, give The Big Dill Pizza a try!

Pepe’s Pizza

Open in the evenings only, from 4pm to 9pm, Pepe’s is located at 3370 Stone Chimney Rd. They offer all the usual pizzeria favorites: wings, salads, subs and of course delicious pizzas! They load the toppings on – we challenge you to eat more than 2 slices! Our favorites include The Farmers Market Pizza and The Greek Pizza, but you can’t go wrong with a plain pepperoni either.


The old standby! Dominos is located just off the island in the Food Lion shopping center and offers delivery to all of our rental properties. With a wide variety of menu items, from pizza, wings, sandwiches, salads, desserts and more, you can’t go wrong with Dominos!

Next time you’re staying at one of our Holden Beach vacation rentals, grab a pie and head to the beach!

The good thing about staying at a Holden Beach vacation rental is that you’ll have some of the comforts of home while on your vacation. From a stocked kitchen to comfy beds, PROACTIVE Vacations homes are your home away from home at Holden Beach, but what about things you will need to pack from home? Here is a quick cheat sheet on the top 5 things you might not think to pack when going on your Holden Beach vacation.

1. Chargers & Adapters

While it seems like a given, be sure to pack all the chargers and adapters for your electronics – cell phones, tablets, laptops, game systems and the like. There’s nothing worse than watching the power drain on your device while frantically hunting for the charger that is 200 miles away at home. It’s a good idea to pack a couple of portable chargers as well – they come in handy when on the beach or out sight seeing.

2. Spices & Condiments

While you can pick up most everything you need from the local stores, it might make sense to pack frequently used spices and bring them with you. That way you aren’t rebuying a ton of expensive spices just to cook with for a week and have to haul back home.

3. Safety Gates

If you have little ones, they’ll want to explore their new surroundings in a vacation rental. Pack a portable safety gate to keep them safe away from stairs, both inside and while enjoying outdoor deck areas.

4. Towels

While you can rent bath towels locally to prevent having to pack them, it’s still a good idea to pack beach towels for the beach and pool. They get more sandy and wet than you would think, so plan for a least a couple per person for the time you’re here.

5. Paper Products & Plastic Bags

Again, you can pick these up locally, but it’s a good idea to pack at least one roll of toilet paper and a roll of paper towels to hold you over until you are able to make a trip to the store. And zip-loc bags will be used more than you think – from organizing items in your suitcase, to dividing up snacks and packing a cooler for the beach.

Only you truly know what you’ll need to be comfortable while on your Holden Beach vacation , and your packing list may be a mile long, or a minimal as a change of clothes and a toothbrush. But, no matter how you pack, you’re sure to have a great vacation with a rental from PROACTIVE Vacations!

VRBO, Airbnb and other vacation rental booking sites can be great. They offer a huge selection of inventory for places around the world, with numerous filters so you can find your dream vacation rental. But there are many advantages to booking directly with a local property management company. Here’s why you should book direct Holden Beach vacation rentals.

Book Direct Holden Beach Vacation Rentals & Save Money

All third party sites charge additional fees for booking a vacation rental through them. When you book direct with PROACTIVE Vacations, you avoid these fees. When looking at one of our homes, “The Salty Cloud” for a 7 night stay (9/10/2022 – 9/17/2022), the total with VRBO  is $3,178.54 while PROACTIVE Vacations total is $2,893.54 for a difference of $285 in fees. $285 would go a long way towards more fun during your vacation!

Personal Service

When you book direct with PROACTIVE Vacations, you always have the option of contacting us directly by phone or email. We’re happy to answer any questions you may have before, during or after booking. We can provide suggestions for homes that meet your needs and because we manage the homes – we know the homes and which ones might be best for what you’re looking for.

We Know Holden Beach

We’re not a company that’s hundreds of miles away – we live and work in Holden Beach and are dedicated to helping our guests have great vacations. Need a restaurant recommendation? Want suggestions for activities? We live here – we can help!

We’re Here

While we hope your vacation is perfect – the reality is that sometimes something goes wrong. A/Cs go out, coffee pots stop working, washing machines stop spinning….when this happens, we’re right here, with full time maintenance staff, and contacts at local providers, to get the issues resolved as soon as possible.

PROACTIVE Vacations is locally owned and operated – our President is a Varnamtown native and we’re invested in the Holden Beach area. By supporting a local company, you can rest assured that your vacation dollars go right back into the local economy supporting the beach that we all love!  Contact us and book your reservation today!

Part of the appeal of renting a vacation home is the ability to cook meals rather than going out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But what if you want to try some of the local flavors without heading out? We’ve gathered a few of our favorite North Carolina recipes for you to use on your next beach trip. There’s not much better than the local flavors after a long day at the beach!

Low Country Boil

Shrimp, Potatoes, Corn on the Cob, Sausage AND easy clean-up? It’s easy to see why this recipe is a local favorite. Skip the plates and serve on a paper covered outdoor table for an authentic experience!

(Click for Printable Version)

Shrimp Salad

Perfect for lunch or a light dinner – especially on those too hot to cook days!

(Click for printable version)


Grilled Cheese & Crab

Another great sandwich recipe – perfect for dinner with a salad or roasted corn on the cob.

(Click for printable version)


Shrimp & Cheddar Grits

It doesn’t get more southern than grits – add in some fresh shrimp and you’ve got the perfect Coastal North Carolina meal!

(Click for printable version)


Holden Beach Vacation Planning

Next time you’re in Holden Beach, you can rest assured that your PROACTIVE Vacations rental home will have a kitchen well equipped to cook any of these North Carolina recipes and any others you may plan. Rather you’re in an ocean front condo or a ICW home – there’s no place quite like Holden Beach!

If you come to Holden Beach and head east on Ocean Boulevard, you’ll soon pass Rangers Street, Elizabeth Street and Bendigo Street on the right. While they may seem like any other streets, their names are tied to the unique story of the island of Holden Beach and the Civil War. Lets take a walk through Holden Beach history.

Elizabeth, Bendigo, and USS Iron Age

In September 1863, the Confederate blockade runner Elizabeth, a 216 foot, 623 ton sidewheel steamer, headed to the Wilmington port with a load of steel and salt peter, ran aground just off of Holden Beach in the Lockwood Folly Inlet. The crew then set fire to Elizabeth to avoid capture by the Union Army.

In January 1864, the Confederate blockade runner Bendigo, a 178 ton, 162 foot iron-hulled paddle wheeler,  returning from Nassau with supplies for the Confederacy, saw the wreck of Elizabeth and thought it to be a Union warship. Bendigo attempted to pass at full speed between the wreckage and the shore. In the attempt, Bendigo ran aground. The captain of Bendigo recruited the help of the locals on Holden Beach and was able to salvage the supplies of the vessel. The captain then set fire to Bendigo and abandoned ship on January 4, 1864.

Days later, the Union sent the USS Iron Age, a 424 ton, 144 foot wood-screw steamer, and USS Daylight to the inlet to attempt to remove Bendigo, but Iron Age was grounded on January 10, 1864 while attempting to remove the wreckage. After efforts to lighten the load and float USS Iron Age failed it was set on fire causing the magazine to explode.

Legend has it, as Holden Beach locals attempted to salvage anything of value from the USS Iron Age, Neil Holden, a Confederate soldier and descendant of the Holden Beach namesake, found a razor in the captain’s cabin. This razor is said to have remained within the Holden family since the Civil War.

Blockade Runner Ranger

Just one day later, on January 11, 1864, the Confederate blockade runner Ranger, a 400 ton iron-hulled sidewheel steamer, was traveling from Murrell’s Inlet to Wilmington and was spotted by Union ships. Ranger was beached one mile west of the Lockwood Folly Inlet on Holden Beach and destroyed by fire. It’s unknown what, if any, supplies were recovered.

Civil War Era Ship Wrecks Today

All of these ship wrecks are now listed in the National Register as part of an archeological district. The remains of Bendigo are still visible at low tide if you head to the east end of the island and look out towards Oak Island over the Lockwood Folly Inlet. The wreckage is marked with an orange navigation warning buoy. The ship is easily reached during low tide by swimming, but the wreck is extensively covered in fishing hooks and gear that may present potential hazards.

The next time you’re in town enjoying Holden Beach history, enjoying one of PROACTIVE Vacations great vacation rentals, be sure to check out it’s remains! Contact us today and book your reservation!

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a dip in the ocean on a warm summer day. Studies have found that both sea air and ocean water can have positive effects on our moods and our health. The natural minerals found in our oceans are great for our skin. But with all of these benefits of a day at the beach, there are some dangers as well. It’s important to be vigilant and aware of the dangers of the ocean so you can enjoy your day at the beach. Learn all about water safety in Holden Beach below.

Ocean Swimming Basics

The ocean is an unpredictable environment. You need much stronger swimming skills for the ocean than for a pool. Never swim alone even if you are an experienced swimmer. Three things you must know before entering the ocean:

Be Aware of Hazards

Swimming in the ocean requires a bit more skill than swimming in a pool or lake. Be aware of the potential hazards before entering the water.

Children & The Ocean

Children require constant attention while near the ocean. Accidents can happen quickly and often before you even realize there is a problem.

While this may seem like a lot, you can never be too careful on the beach. A bit of preparation and knowledge can ensure that your next day at the beach is a safe, happy one!

If you are staying at one of PROACTIVE Vacation’s rentals you’ll have plenty of parking at your rental, however, if you choose to drive elsewhere on the island, the Town of Holden Beach has implemented paid parking as of May 1, 2022 from 9 am to 5 pm daily.

When is Paid Parking In Effect?

Paid parking in Holden Beach is in effect from 9 am to 5 pm daily. In 2022, paid parking will run from May 1 to October 31. In 2023, paid parking will run from April 1 to October 31.

Where Do I Have to Pay To Park?

All public parking areas in Holden Beach are now pay to park. Per ordinance, there is no parking on the streets or rights-of-way except in designated parking spaces identified by Pay-to-Park signs. Parking at the area parks remains free while you are using the park. Click here for an interactive map from the Town of Holden Beach showing all parking areas. 

What Are the Holden Beach Parking Rates?

Parking violations are $50. After 30 days, a $25 late fee will be applied to unpaid citations. After 60 days, citations will be referred to a collection agency.

How Do I Pay To Park?

There are 3 ways to pay for parking:

  1. Download the “SurfCAST by Otto” app, setup your account, register your vehicle, and pay for parking
  2. Scan the QR code on the parking signs to link to a Secure website. Follow the prompts to pay for parking or use the Secure website: https://surfcast.ottoconnect.us/pay
  3. Call the Otto Connect team at 910-200-1497.  You will need to provide your email, phone number, license plate/tag number, state of registration, and a Credit or Debit card

If you have questions or need further information about paid parking, visit the Paid Parking page on the Holden Beach Town Hall website.